Dundee hears about cutting teams

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

The Dundee Central School Board of Education is still looking at some elements of the budget for the 2011-2012 school year, and will continue discussions March 24.

With no significant changes to the spending plan since the board’s March 3 budget workshop, when $178,000 was cut from the budget, bringing the tax levy increase down to 6.3 percent

On March 10, no new decisions were made after discussing bus purchases, guidance counselor positions and extracurricular activities, but the board does know the district will be offering seven fewer sports beginning next year.

A decision about which teams will be eliminated has not been made, and is pending further action by the schools in the Finger Lakes West league.

Atheletic Director Chuck Mochamer explained school districts in the league could choose to eliminate either modified level or junior varsity level teams, and split the players between the remaining level and varsity teams. If junior varsity teams are eliminated, athletes in grades seven through nine will play on modified teams and athletes in grades 10 - 12 will play on varsity teams. Other school districts involved in the decision are Bloomfield, Honeoye, DeSales, Marcus Whitman, Red Jacket, Romulus and South Seneca.

A final decision on a possible fee schedule for use of the Wellness Center will be made March 24.

Although sharing services or consolidation with neighboring school districts was not discussed, Superintendent Kathy Ring confirms Dundee officials have agreed to work with Penn Yan and Marcus Whitman schools to hire a consultant to explore the feasibility and design of a consolidated business office.

Other business at the March 10 Dundee School Board meeting included:

• TRAFFIC CONTROL: Ring summarized communications with New York State Department of Transportation officials regarding the intersection of Water and Millard Streets, and the main entrance to the school. Ring and Dundee Mayor Fred Cratsley Jr. had asked that a traffic signal be added and reduced speed limit posted. DOT officials responded that a traffic signal will not be added, but the school and/or village could cover the cost of installing flashing beacons near the intersection. The annual cost to maintain the beacons would be $1250 plus the cost for electricity. The request for a reduced speed limit was approved.

• PROJECT AWARENESS: Jr. Sr. High Principal Chris Arnold and Stephanie Trombley, school caseworker, presented plans for Project Awareness. Arnold said the school’s Natural Helpers group has brought to light some issues young people face today, which he described as “startling.” Trombley said upcoming activities will address substance abuse and social networking.

A March 23 community meeting will be presented by a New York State Police drug recognition expert. An April 6 community meeting on social networking will be presented by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Trombley said quarterly outreach and awareness meetings will be part of a two to three year plan toward providing students with new life skills.

• VIDEO POLICY: Parents Tracy Knapp and David Nice presented letters to the board spelling out their concerns about fourth grade students viewing the movie “The Patriot,”  which is rated “R” for strong war violence. Knapp said the teachers and administrators did not follow the school’s policy in properly informing parents about the film. Explainining she is a parent who makes time to stay informed, she said she was frustrated that teachers and administrators have taken away her options. None of the board members responded, but Ring told her the policy will be followed.

• MEETINGS: The board’s next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. March 24 in the public meeting room.